Who was/is Stoney Edwards ? - CDs, Vinyl LPs, DVD and more

Stoney Edwards

Country music legend Stoney Edwards, often remembered today as the 'other' famous African-American country singer alongside the better-known Charley Pride. Edwards had a string of records in the 1970s featuring tribute songs, and in fact over half of the songs on this compilation are from Edwards’ extensive tribute song oeuvre. Stoney Edwards had a long and winding path in life before he became a country music singer. Born in 1929 in Oklahoma to abject poverty, Edwards never advanced beyond the third grade in school, remaining illiterate throughout his career.

Never having learned to read or write meant all of Edwards songs were learned by ear and by memory, which gave them a very real and primitive air. Edwards spent several years in a near-coma after carbon dioxide poisoning during a forklift accident in Richmond, California. His recuperation time was spent listening to and learning music. Edwards began singing country music at amateur events in California in the 1950s and 1960s, culminating in being discovered at a small Bob Wills benefit in the late 1960s, where Edwards sang Merle Haggard's Mama's Hungry Eyes and received three standing ovations.

A lawyer named Ray Sweeney saw Edwards’ appeal and got him a meeting with Capitol Records brass, which ultimately led to a recording contract and Edwards first chart record, Two Dollar Toy. Edwards' first tribute record was the touching Hank And Lefty Raised My Country Soul from 1973. This record was quite successful and led Edwards to record a great many more tribute songs over the next couple years, most of which are found on this disc. An oft-repeated story tells of Stoney meeting Lefty Frizzell at a Nashville bar shortly before Lefty's death.

Lefty was incredibly moved by the tribute, to the point of tears, and found it ironic that a black man was the only one who remembered him. The Night The Ernest Tubb Show Came To Town, The Carter Family, Cash, The Jimmie Rodgers Blues, Bob Wills, Hag, Red Foley, King Of Country Music (Roy Acuff) and Daddy Bluegrass (Bill Monroe) are all fairly self-explanatory and all found on this disc.

Each song represents Stoney Edwards paying tribute to the country artists that he grew up with and was influenced by as an aspiring young country singer.

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More information about Stoney Edwards on Wikipedia.org

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